Hong Kong Politics & Protest

Disappointed netizens slam pro-Beijing lawmakers on social media

Disappointed pro-establishment netizens have reacted angrily on social media to the pro-Beijing legislators’ walkout during the political reform vote.

On Speak Out HK, a pro-government Facebook page with a following of 156,000 that is usually populated by comments attacking pan-democrats, most of the 490 comments in its pinned post are critical of the pro-Beijing camp. In this post, the comment with the most upvotes said:

“The pro-establishment camp chickened out in the last minute, letting down voters and disappointing 1.3 billion Chinese people. These anti-China troublemakers blocked the 2017 CE election.”

A self-proclaimed supporter of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB) sounded devastated:

“My entire family has voted for the DAB for over a decade. Why didn’t you cast a single ballot? Why? Then what’s the difference between voting for you and voting for ‘hot dogs’ [nickname for supporters of the pro-localism group Civic Passion]? I’m very upset. I always vote for ‘Tam Sir’ [DAB lawmaker Tam Yiu-chung]……”
我成家人投左民建聯十幾年, 點解你地一票支持票都唔投, 點解 ? 咁我投你地同投熱狗有咩分別, 好唔開心, 我次次都投俾譚sir……..

One netizen lamented over what he interpreted as the self-defeatism of pro-Beijing politicians:

“[I] have voted for the pro-establishment camp in all confidence, but I’d never imagined this could happen. This is deeply disappointing. Would one more vote have changed the results? Even if we would lose anyway, shouldn’t we lose with dignity? If all of you had voted, there would’ve at least been more than 8 votes in favor of the motion vs 28 against.”

The government’s rhetoric focused on “punishing the pan-democrats with your vote,” a slogan used by the director of the Chinese liaison office Zhang Xiaoming and pro-government rally organisers. Chief Executive CY Leung also urged Hong Kongers to vote the pan-democrats out of office. But with the unexpected turn of events, pro-Beijing politicians might face a legitimacy crisis from their own supporter base.

In another pro-government current affairs page “Hong Kong Good News,” a bitter netizen felt that his voice was not represented by the lawmaker he voted for:

“Even if [the political reform] was doomed to be rejected, you should’ve stayed and voted for us instead of leaving the chamber. Seeing how the vote ended without knowing what happened is a blatant disregard for your public expectation!”

HKG Pao, a new pro-government online news site founded by Robert Chow, one of the most vocal organisers of pro-Beijing campaigns, avoided mentioning the pro-Beijing camp’s mistake on its Facebook page altogether. Instead, it focused on the dissatisfaction of pro-government protesters with pan-democrats. “People are disappointed with the rejection of the political reform,” the page wrote. “Who has disappointed them?”

Speaking on behalf of the pro-Beijing camp, Regina Ip of the New People’s Party told the press the pro-Beijing camp were as “aggrieved and disappointed” as their supporters, and expressed “sincere apologies to all the citizens who support the government motion.”

Heung Yee Kuk  Lau wong-fat rural council reform vote

Rural Council chief and lawmaker Lau Wong-fat is the reason why the pro-Beijing camp decided to walk out of the chamber just moments before voting. Photo: i-Cable.


Disappointed netizens slam pro-Beijing lawmakers on social media